MultiAgency Practice for Children
g usually emphasizes structural and process factors without referencing the partnerships between those working in and across agencies on which the development will depend. The system and legal framework was designed on the assumption that agencies would understand and respond to their roles spontaneously, despite many agencies were underequipped to do so. However, the fact that new legislation in the form of the Children Act 2004 together with the Every Child Matters agenda has now been deemed necessary. Many schools now have assumed a greater role in safeguarding their students, but in some cases, it is still not clear how it will happen. How the agencies would promote the child’s welfare. Some directives are available. Multiagency working is now a legal requirement. They must cooperate if asked as long as the requirement within their defined roles. The Children Act 2004 section 10 clearly states that agencies must make provisions to promote cooperation between one another with a common goal of child welfare (Stahmer et al., 2008, 99-108).
Multi-agency working has been acknowledged to be good practice since this framework has the provision of coordination of work of those involved, thus allowing sharing of resources leading ultimately to better outcome for children as their holistic needs are addressed. This can be economically beneficial since joint finding of projects may make these feasible, which otherwise would not have been possible. Obviously this is a framework that can be implemented in the school or early-year settings. Education services or specialist services such as disability support and education welfare may be involved. Social workers and family aides from the Social Services and parents and carers may be involved as different collaborating agencies….
The health visitors conduct the universal health and health development monitoring of all children who are under 5 years of age. The school nurses perform universal health monitoring of school age children. In collaboration with these health professionals, the general practitioner provides medical help in indicated cases. The mental health workers especially at the community level support parents where it is deemed necessary. The psychologists and psychotherapists assess and support children and parents where it is necessary. If a child is harmed or his safety is affected in any way, the police is responsible by law to gather evidence if any crime is suspected and would refer evidence to Crown Prosecution service. The voluntary sector may play a very important role in that they carry out independent assessments. They can provide direct support or funding to children and families. Wherever, there is a lack in statutory services, they can complement these. However, voluntary sector provides services in a localised fashion, and their endeavours can be seen as less stigmatising (David, 1994, 47-79).
Thus it appears that all agencies should monitor the children whenever necessary. In the multi-agency approach, they have the opportunity to share information as required. Knowledge about work roles of other agencies may enable any agency to refer to other agencies and/or services as and when required. Jointly, they can take part in decision making processes, assessments, and planning meetings.